What Do You Think About Females In Sport? Some Big Questions Answered

For this post I have decided to interview my sister who is an avid sports lover to find out her thoughts and opinions as to why she thinks women are not treated equally or fairly in the sports industry.

INTERVIEW WITH ELISE

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  1. Do you think it’s important for kids to participate in sports from a young age? If so why?

I think it’s important and crucial to child development to participate in sport from a substantially young age, whether it is individually or in a team. Playing sport from a young age encourages an active and healthy lifestyle that will increase the chances of retaining a healthier lifestyle as they grow older. Participating in team sport from a young is also beneficial in that it encourages team work, participation, working together with others, overcoming challenges, building communication and developing certain skills.

  1. Do you think it’s important to teach kids about respect and equality in sports?

It is significantly important to teach kids about respect and equality in sports, especially from a young age, as it may shape or influence their perceptions of respect and equality at a later stage in their life. Respect and equality can be taught to children through sport by way of showing good sportsmanship, which entails playing by the rules, honestly, fairly and treating all players, on both teams, with respect.

  1. Do you think that females should earn the same amount of prize money in professional sport?

I think that if female athletes are playing to the same level, intensity and duration to that of men, then yes, they should definitely earn the same prize money (e.g. soccer). However, if the duration of their play is at a lower level than men (e.g. Tennis – women play 3 sets and men play 5 in grand slams) then it seems logical for men to receive a higher amount as they are playing with a higher level of athleticism.

  1. Why do you think that female athletes and female sports don’t get enough media attention or interest?

There could be a number of reasons why female athletes and sports don’t get enough media attention, a major factor being its exposure. Hardly any women sporting competition are shown on free to air television or are only briefly mentioned in the media (e.g. tv news, newspapers, etc). another reason could be that the general public just don’t hold an interest in female sport as much as mens sport, whether it be regarding the intensity of the sport or that the sport may not be popular itself (e.g. netball). It could also come down to investors and their hesitance to sponsor and support women’s sporting teams and events.

  1. Furthermore, why do you think that females earn less in terms of salary and endorsement fees? Are female athletes not as marketable? Have you seen a change recently? (eg. Womens Soccer World Cup, Ronda Rousey?)

I think they may earn less in terms of endorsement fees because investors don’t see them as marketable or as successful business ventures. Large companies are more willing to out money into more well-known or successful male athletes then lesser known female ones, purely for business success reasons.

There has been a slightly change in this, such as the exposure of the Netball World Cup with Australia’s win, however it seems the media and investors are only interested if were winning.

  1. Were you aware that our national women’s soccer team the Matildas annual salary is approximately $21,000 which is more than $10,000 LESS than our national average salary? 

I only became aware of this issue once it received a fair amount of media attention. It seems outrageous that a professional female athlete, who would spend the same amount of time and effort into training and preparation as their male counterparts, earn a salary less than that of someone who works full time at McDonalds. The media attention on this issue however proved to be advantageous, with the Matilda’s pay dispute strike causing the association to raise their wages and meet the athletes terms. Good on em.

Diahann x

How The Matilda’s Pay Dispute Could Spark Real Change

Just as female tennis stars fought the gender pay gap in the 1970s, so too can the Matildas pay dispute and strike effect real change in soccer in Australia.

This is definitely an opportunity to grasp and make the most of if done correctly. They have the ability and capabilities to promote a real change and spark interest in the long debated manner. Hopefully the Matildas strike is not in vain and can effect real, systematic and fundamental change to the inequalities they face when it comes to their salary.

The Matildas, Australia’s national women’s soccer team, have gone on strike and it has been a long time coming.

In June, as interest grew around their success in the FIFA World Cup, reports began to circulate revealing just how little the players were being paid in comparison to their male counterparts, the Socceroos.

In the lead up to their incredible knockout game with Brazil, the ABC reported that each Matilda had received$500 in match fees, while male players received $7500 for doing the same thing! Furthermore, while soccer’s top sportswomen received approximately $21,000 per annum, its sportsmen could make the same amount from a handful of group-stage tournament games. These statistics are beyond depressing in which serious action needs to be taken.

The Matildas’ contracts with Football Federation Australia expired at the end of June, however the bargaining process for replacement contracts has been going on for more than 6 months, which essentially means that the player have not been payed for 2 months which has understandably left the players feeling hurt and disrespected which ultimately saw them withdraw from their training camp.

Matildas forward Ashley Sykes said in a statement that “Everyone wants to play, everyone wants to represent their country. But we’re not going to do that until we get some progress.”

If enough light is shed on this issue, and the media portray it a case that needs serious readjustment, then fundamental change to the system is a likely probability. The actions of women in tennis in 1970 were instrumental in securing the high profile and competitive nature of professional women’s tennis that we see today. Ultimately, the actions of the Matildas are similarly important: their success will pave the way for future generations of sportswomen, for the success and popularity of the women’s soccer, for equal pay campaigns across industries, and we should support them in their fight.

 

Check out the highlights from our winning match against the mighty Brazil! Inspiring stuff!

Diahann x

Matilda’s Pay Dispute

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Australia’s women’s national football team has called off its entire tour of the United States as the pay dispute with Football Federation Australia (FFA) continues to escalate.

Last week, the Matildas confirmed their withdrawal from a Sydney training camp ahead of the planned tour, and have now upped the ante in attempts to call off their tour of the world champions. This drastic advocacy by the Matildas themselves just goes to show how important and serious this issue really is this issue is.

The Matildas thrilled Australian audiences earlier this year, when they reached the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup, becoming the first Australian representative team to reach the last eight in a football world cup. And rightfully so do they deserve to be paid a fair and just amount if that fact is anything to go by.

However it has been two months since the Matildas were payed after the players’ contracts expired and negotiations stalled because of their dispute.

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) chief executive Adam Vivian said in a statement that “The Matildas are in a very interesting situation, they fundamentally have a full-time workload with part time pay, so we’re looking for an immediate correction to their pay scheme – that’s not a huge correction by the way, that correction sort of circa $150,000 in total in terms of the addition of what’s been offered,” he said.

Vivian said that at $21,000 a year for each player, there is no question the Matildas are underpaid. This statistic is beyond shocking especially when you compare it to the incredible salaries of their male counterparts.

Vivian does agree that it’s time for a more justifiable and substantial deal to be struck and says that the federation wouldn’t have worked so hard if they wanted to get an agreement that would better reflect the amazing standard of our women’s team.

It is good to see the players taking a stand because they are not being remunerated respectively, so ultimately it’ s not a game for them, when it comes to serious financial issues, its their livelihood that’s at stake.

Diahann x

Lauren Jackson speaks out for Women in Sport

“Australian sportswomen are being exploited and should consider going public to demand better pay,” Lauren Jackson says.

The champion basketballer threw her support behind the Matilda’s last week, saying that more sportswomen should consider taking action to improve their remuneration and conditions.

The ongoing issue has sparked interest nationally and globally, with the pay gap between men and women in professional sports being a serious issue that needs to be constantly worked on and improved upon in order to bring about any systematic and fundamental change.

The issue has been of great interest recently as the Australian women’s soccer team (Matildas) have been in a messy dispute with Football Federation Australia (FFA) which has seen their upcoming tour of the USA axed.

Jackson said in a statement that the Matildas were bringing attention to the lack of equality in the treatment of women across sports.

“The Matildas are putting it out there and it’s something that other codes definitely need to think about,” she said.

Australian’s are renowned for their love of sport, with many even citing it as ‘Australia’s religion’, so in a nation full of sports fanatics, why are we so behind the times when it comes to equality? Gender disparity is something that women have had to face for far too long in many industries, so its really about time that the necessary action is taken in order to combat it.

Jackson also spoke about how the salaries and match fees offered to Australian sports women do not at all reflect their standings in the world rankings. The Matildas are ranked 9th in the world, which is certainly a lot higher than that of their male counterparts, the Soceroos.

“We put our bodies on the line like the men do, just like the men do, and I think there needs to be recognition and support in the way of remuneration,” she said.

Matildas defender Laura Alleway said it was “semi-embarrassing to be offered anything less than [minimum wage], as women, as women in sport,” she said.

Under their last agreement with FFA, the Matildas earned a salary of $21,000 a year, plus additional payments such as a base fee for international matches of $500. Although the men’s salary works differently, their basic match payment for an international was $6000.

“Hopefully this will start something, in all women’s sport in Australia and over the world, enough’s enough,” Alleway said.

Diahann x